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M.I. Mariscal-Crespo1, D. Merino-Navarro1, R. Camacho-Bejarano1, I. Paladini-Bracho1, A. Martín-Mariscal2

1University of Huelva (SPAIN)
2University of Seville (SPAIN)
The European Space for Higher Education emphasizes the need of establishing adequate evaluation systems in order to assess the level of competency acquisition. The concept of competency is defined as the group of capacities and technical, methodological, social and participative knowledge required in a person to be able to assume the specific professional responsibilities. These competencies should be observable and measurable through the different performance conduct of each subject when facing certain situations in practice. Consequently, it is essential the utilization of an adequate evaluation system in order to assess the competency development within the academic and professional context.

Over the last few decades, the development of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the changes in the teaching-learning process through virtual spaces have facilitate the implementation of new evaluation systems focused on new modalities of portfolios known as electronic portfolios or e-portfolios.
An electronic portfolio is a record keeping system which includes a selection of learning evidences, adequately organized following a specific criteria. This system is organised through a virtual platform, allowing students and teachers to maintain a interactive follow up of the learning process. The portfolio includes different types of documents (academic activities, certificates, research findings, etc.) and is complemented with students reflections upon the different topics covered. This reflective quality provides the portfolio as a coherent evaluation system within the continuous learning process.

The electronic portfolio enhances the information exchange and feedback between teachers and students in a efficient way, being also a competency assessment tool based on a progressive learnin philosophy.
Through this instrument, four competency levels can assessed: knowledge development, learning integration, personal contribution and interaction on each area, classifying the level of achievement in pending competency, emerging, competency in development, advanced and expert. This system can be used both as self-assessment tool from the student perspective and as teachers´ evaluation system, reaching an integrated approach of the subject.

The use of electronic portfolios is considered as one of the cornerstones in the competency-acquisition assessment. As a methodological instrument, it has two main purposes: to promote reflection upon a competency development with the aim of improving performance and to provide a record of achievement. Therefore, it has a formative value (reflection for improving and learning) and a credential value. The use of the electronic portfolio is getting increansingly extended, contributing to the student self-learning and reflection.